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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Alternate Storage Food - Dried Split Peas

Another long term storage item you may wish to add to your emergency food supplies is the dried pea (split or whole). I have found that I can manage to store about 32 pounds of peas inside a 5 gallon pail sealed into a mylar bag with oxygen and moisture absorbers, and still have enough room to seal the lid tightly. Peas, like beans, have been estimated to have a shelf life of 10 years or so when properly stored in airtight and light proof containers. Unlike beans however peas do not require soaking before cooking.

There are many extra health bonuses associated with peas especially for those with diabetes or hypoglycemia. The fiber and iron associated with peas and especially the benefit to insulin users alone puts this item high on my storage list.

I have not experimented with adding my own garden peas into storage. Currently any peas I store are purchased already dried and added into the pails, while garden peas are consumed fresh. The downside is finding peas in bags large enough to be economically viable, I have found 5lb bags of split peas at Sam's club but most grocery stores seem to only carry them in 1 lb bags. Average cost so far has worked it's way out to $21.00 per 30 lb. pail. Considerably more costly than pre-inflation rice but somewhat less than kidney beans pound for pound (see below for the actual calorie cost per pail however).

My overall plan for adding split peas into an emergency rotation would be to include one serving of peas per person per day mixed with rice. This is of course assuming no other fresh produce or otherwise obtained food is available. This would add (as noted above) approximately another 125 calories to a daily survival total. Using the Small-Hold standard 30 pounds of food per pail each pail would contain around 390 servings!!! Now we see another advantage of storing dried peas, using a cost per calorie ratio a 30lb pail of split peas gives us 48,750 calories. Rice for instance gives us approximately 15,300 calories per 5 gallon pail.

You can reference my post on Rice and beans storage for your own calculations per person you are storing for here. Basically 1 pail of split peas should serve 1 person for 13 months provided you use 1 serving per day. I simply add one 30lb pail per person per year for my own calculations.

For high energy, iron and calories you really cannot beat dried peas overall in storage costs and space and this item will add some variety to a rice and beans base diet plan.

Now I need to work on a post bringing all my dried storage foods together in one article. Hmmmm something else to add to my to-do list.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!